In answer to the e-Newsletter I sent out at the beginning of February, I received this lovely letter from Danielle Avidan, a follower of this website. She was kind enough to contribute this recipe.
She writes: “My grandmother used a heavy earthenware container, but it can be prepared in an ordinary salad bowl, even a terrine (ça se garde très bien au refrigerateur!)”
Bitter oranges appetizer
3 large bitter oranges (Seville oranges) or 4 medium ones
About 10 to 2 black olives, preferably the ‘wrinkled’ ones from Morocco that can be found in Persian markets;
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tsp paprika, or more if you like;
1/4 tsp cumin;
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional);
3 (or 4) T Canola or grapeseed oil (do not to substitute olive oil!)
Salt and white pepper to taste.
Pit olives. Peel oranges, and cut in small cubes. Remove seeds. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in an earthenware bowl or ordinary salad bowl. Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. Adjust seasonings before serving at room temperature.
Note: The longer you keep it the better it tastes! This can accompany any meat, chicken or fish dish, as a first course, or can be served with other ‘salads’ such as beet, eggplant, carrot etc..
Tita, my own great-aunt and culinary mentor, often prepared a similar salad with the bitter, Seville oranges that we picked in Marrakech. My own version contains Valencia or Navels, dried Kalamata olives, and chopped red onion or diced fennel, depending upon the availability or the inspiration!